March 26, 2016

Greece condemned for Ineffective investigation into a racist assault on an Afghan national and his conditions of detention in an Athens police station

In the case of Sakir v. Greece (application no. 48475/09) the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been: a violation of Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) and a violation of Article 13 (right to an effective remedy) of the European Convention on Human Rights with regard to Mr Sakir’s conditions of detention in in the Aghios Panteleïmon police station in Athens, a violation of Article 3 of the Convention with regard to the conduct of the investigation carried out following the assault.

ANNOUNCEMENT: The Group of Lawyers is moving!

The Group of Lawyers for the Rights of Migrants and Refugees has moved to new premises.

Free legal counseling will be provided from 29 March 2016 every Tuesday from 6 pm to 8pm at Lontou 6 & Mesologiou Str., Exarheia, 2nd floor.

Thank you. 

April 22, 2015

Denouncement – refugee transferred by the Greek Police to the consulate of her country of origin in breach of Geneva Convention

O.A., citizen of Turkey, applied on 16.04.2015 for asylum due to the persecution she has faced and is in danger of facing by the Turkish authorities for reasons of her political beliefs.

Since then she is being held at the detention facilities in Elliniko and the Greek authorities, instead of proceeding with the examination of her asylum application, releasing her and informing her about the applicable procedure, transferred her today surprisingly to the Turkish consulate in order to deport her.

We denounce the transfer of the above asylum applicant to the consulate of her country of origin as an act that constitutes blatant violation of the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees.

These actions encroach gravely on the rights of refugees, breach the principle of non-refoulement and expose their lives to danger.

March 23, 2015

Some legal comments to the debate about the administrative detention of migrants in Greece

(Text in Italian follows)

The persistent practice among consecutive Greek governments to subject migrants and asylum-seekers, who enter or live in the Greek territory to systematic, indiscriminate and prolonged detention consistutes a flagrant violation of international, european and national law: administrative detention can only be used as an exceptional and last resort measure and only for the shortest time possible. Unfortunately, the Greek governments have thus treated it as the rule, rather than the exception. Over the past years, administrative detention has been Greece's main policy tool to deal with its migration and asylum issues.

This unsuccessful policy has caused the Greek authorities to infringe fundamental and inviolable detainee rights, to deny the right to international protection and to fulfill many other related international obligation; detainees are treated in an inhuman and degrading manner and are deprived of their liberty for prolonged periods of time without a fair trial. In 2015 alone, three migrants already lost their lives due to the deplorable conditions inside the detention centers and the sub-standard treatment they were subjected to. Others have been detained for around two years without ever having been convicted of a criminal offence.

December 3, 2014

Screening of the documentary ‘Captain Thomas Sankara’, Wednesday 10 December

The Group of Lawyers for the rights of Migrants and Refugees 
invites you to the screening 
of the award-winning documentary film ‘Captain Thomas Sankara’ 
made by Swiss filmmaker Christophe Cupelin.

The screening will take place 
on Wednesday 10/12/2014 at 8:30pm. 
at“ Ktirio 11” is 11 ,Rethymnou and Ioulianou str.
(opposite ‘Radisson Blu Park Hotel’ in Athens)

The documentary will be shown in French language with English subtitles.

November 5, 2014

Case of torture by Coast Guards off Chios in 2007: Appeal Court on 6-11-2014 ‏

Οn 6 November 2014 the Supreme Military Court of Athens (Petrou Ralli str. 1, at 9:00 am) is going to examine the appeal by the two coast guards found guilty at first instance for having committed acts of torture against an asylum seeker, including restricting the victim’s breathing so as to simulate drowning and suffocation (‘wet and dry submarine’), carrying out mock execution, as well as other serious attacks on human dignity, immediately after the victim’s entry into Greece and during his transfer with other asylum-seekers to the Port of Chios. The above-mentioned incident was first documented in the report entitled “The truth may be bitter but it must be told – The Situation of Refugees in the Aegean and the Practices of the Greek Coast Guard” by the Group of Lawyers for the Rights of Refugees and Migrants and the NGO Pro-Asyl, which was published in 2007 and had attracted extensive publicity.

October 18, 2014

Council of Europe anti-torture Committee publishes report on Greece

Strasbourg, 16.10.2014 – The Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) has published today the report on its eleventh visit to Greece, which took place in April 2013, together with the response of the Greek authorities.

The visit took place two years after the CPT had issued a public statement in which it had expressed serious concerns regarding the lack of effective action to tackle systemic deficiencies concerning the conditions of detention of irregular migrants and the situation in the prisons. Regrettably, the findings of the 2013 visit demonstrate clearly that the situation has not improved. Further, the problem of ill-treatment by the police appears to be growing and there is little evidence that allegations of ill-treatment are investigated promptly and thoroughly, leading to some police officers believing they can act with impunity.